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Volume 4 & 5 - Page 30 of 161 Index | Zoom | |
"all things," in order that we may have an intelligent understanding of the scriptural
meaning of them. It has been found in other connections that some have been clinging
tenaciously to their idea of the meaning of God, instead of the true scriptural meaning.
There are some who deny the inclusive force of "all things," and limit the words to an
exceedingly narrow compass, while there are others who take the words to be boundless
and absolutely without reserve, including the Devil, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and
those who are cast into the lake of fire.
In studying the use and the occurrences of this expression, it will be found that the
article is employed in many instances in such a way as to call our attention to the all
things under consideration, and to demand of us that we very earnestly seek to understand
the bearing of the article and the context before we conclude that ta panta can be
translated or interpreted of all things universally. The term "all things" occurs a little
over 60 times in the epistles alone; 40 references are without the article, and the
remaining 20 include the article. We intend to direct particular attention to the
construction used in the smaller division (ta panta), but must just briefly touch upon the
wider expression in passing.
The first occurrences in the epistles of the two constructions, with and without the
article, are in Rom. 8: 28 and 32:--
"We know that all things (panta) work together for good, to them that love God, to
them who are the called according to His purpose."
Here, the word is without the article, and includes much that is evil as well as good.
In verse 32 we read:--
"He that spared not His Own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not
with Him graciously give us the all things" (ta panta).
Of course the article here may be merely the "second mention," and may refer back to
verse 28; there are reasons, however, for doubting this. First, the reference is some
distance away; secondly, it comes in a new section commencing with the words, "What
shall we then say?" of verse 31; thirdly, the fact that the all things of verse 28, which are
under the hand of God, may include most conflicting agents (Satan, the world, and evil as
well as good), whereas in verse 32 the all things are graciously given "with Him." This
seems to lead us to see that "the all things" may be a much less inclusive expression than
"all things," and further, that the special term ta panta has been used by the Holy Spirit
with a special meaning which it is our wisdom to investigate and to understand.
We meet the expression again in Rom. 11: 36 in a setting which is typical of its usage.
After bringing before the reader the amazing grace and matchless mercy of God in His
final dealings with Israel, the apostle concludes with the doxology:--
"For of Him (ek, originating cause), and through Him (dia, efficient and ministerial
cause), and unto Him (eis, final cause) are the all things (ta panta). To Him be the glory,
unto the ages, Amen."